LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) will make join efforts to promote investment in forestry sector of South Punjab and will also highlight the forestry opportunities offered by the Government of Punjab.
The consensus was made at a consultative session here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, Chief Executive Officer of SPFC Tahir Rasheed, Moazzam Rasheed and Tehmina Saeed Chaudhry spoke on the occasion. LCCI and SPFC also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard.
Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, briefed Abdul Basit, President, LCCI about SPFC saying that it’s a Punjab Government entity, established as a Public Sector Company, which aims to stimulate private sector investment alongside public money to reduce deforestation in Punjab and to combine forest conservation with sustainable economic development.
He said that that SPFC is offering 99,077 acres for forestation and range management to investor for 15 years. He further stated that the land exists in five districts of South Punjab which include Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan. He said that this initiative will benefit the local economy by creating over 15,000 jobs and most importantly provide sustainably farmed wood to the wood-based industry, eventually reducing logging pressure on the natural forests of Pakistan.
Abdul Basit,President, LCCI, urged the SPFC officials to launch an awareness campaign , so that the concept of sustainable forestry can be promoted. He also said, ‘There’s a need to educate people regarding this concept and media can play an important role by raising awareness regarding it.’
“We have to recognize that forestry is an integral feature of sustainable economic development. It should be the focus policy corridors for generating new economic opportunities”, Abdul Basit said adding that by developing forestry as a commercially viable sector, the country can make the agriculture sector stable and valuable for economy.
SPFC aims to achieve SDGs Goal 15 ‘Life on land’, which focuses on managing forests sustainably, restoring degraded lands and combating desertification etc. The initiative will eventually contribute to reducing pressure on the existing forests. Halting deforestation is also vital to reducing the impacts of climate change.
The company believes that this approach will generate both long-term capital appreciation for partners and an attractive and sustainable income yield. In future, the SPFC will seek to invest in forestry projects that are or will be certified by a reputable forest management certification scheme.